The New York Jets will not make any major changes to the way they run their offense any time soon.
Call it steadfastness, or stubbornness. Just don’t expect a quarterback change in the near future.
Despite their unproductiveness and inconsistency, the Jets are sticking with their plan of rotating their two signal callers, starting quarterback Mark Sanchez (#6, above right) and versatile backup Tim Tebow (#15, above left).
I was wary about Tebow joining the team, but not for football reasons. However, when the Jets did end up acquiring Tebow, they did it very much for football reasons, intending for Sanchez and Tebow to make each other better.
Through five weeks, it hasn’t worked nearly as well as the Jets would’ve hoped, and at times their unconventional offense has confused the Jets just as much as it has their opponents.
In their Week 5 loss, Tebow showed some significant flashes of the package the Jets hoped he can bring to the team. His only pass attempt in the first four weeks was on a trick play jump pass in Week 4.
Tebow dropped back to pass for the first time, unleashing a perfect deep ball down the field that was dropped by Jason Hill, who went from free agent to one of only three healthy Jets receivers in a matter of days.
Tebow also had a nice run of 13 yards on a read-option play in the red zone, and he also converted a fake punt for a first down for the second time this season.
However, the Jets were also forced to blow two timeouts in the second half because of personnel confusion, which the coaches attributed to losing receiver Clyde Gates, who’s part of the Tebow packages, to a mid-game injury.
The Jets have only had Tebow on the field for three consecutive snaps one time this season, back in Week 2 after they gained 22 yards on the first of those plays and 12 yards on the second. (The third play went for a loss of 6.)
With Sanchez struggling so mightily to complete passes and move the chains consistently, the temptation to hand the reins to Tebow full-time has become a legitimate option, but it’s not a hand the Jets will play any time soon.
Despite a rash of injuries on both sides of the ball, especially to key players in the passing game, the Jets will live or die on the right arm of Sanchez, not the left arm of Tebow.
That doesn’t mean we won’t see more Tebow in the coming weeks, however. It stands to reason that he would be more effective with more consistent playing time, and if Sanchez is struggling, Tebow is no slouch as a relief pitcher.
Of course, if Sanchez keeps struggling and Tebow begins to play better, the slippery slope of a potential quarterback controversy becomes a very real possibility.
In the meantime, the Jets will stick with what they’ve got. They believe that, in this case, two quarterbacks are better than one.
Soon enough though, they’ll need to actually prove that they’re right. Otherwise, it will change. And it won’t be pretty.